Let me preface this by saying that I do not, nor have I ever had a problem with people coming up to me and asking how I lost my leg. The fact that I am happy to wear shorts outside well into November should prove that it’s not something I’ve ever tried to shy away from.
However, sometimes, if I’m feeling a little bored telling the same old story I can get… creative with the truth of how I became an amputee.
The Cabin in the Woods
I spent a good deal of my childhood wandering around the forests that surrounded my home in the Highlands of Scotland. Every weekend I would grab an old video camera and head out into the wilderness with a group of school friends where we could make short films about whatever was on our minds that day.
Sometimes it would be a fantastical adventure, other times an Attenborough inspired documentary. There are even a couple of found footage horror videos sitting on a hard-drive somewhere in my parents house, you can blame Cloverfield for those ones.
Safe to say, I have always been comfortable and confident to be out in the woods.
So, when my friends came to me a week after my eighteenth birthday with the suggestion of us all taking a trip to Norway to stay in a woodland cabin for a week, I naturally jumped at the chance.
A few days and several hundred pounds later, we were soaring through the air, gliding over the icy blue North Sea on our way to Oslo.
It was warmer in the city than I had been expecting when we landed, however that didn’t last very long as we made our way north and the vibrant green landscape was slowly engulfed by thick layers of crystal white snow.
The bus dropped us in a small town, I can’t remember the spelling of the name so won’t butcher it here but it was a beautiful little place. Something right out of a story book with colourful buildings and what may well have been a year round blanket of snow.
A local taxi drove us out into the forest, it was a good thirty minute drive along a woodland track before we reached the small, serene clearing in which sat the cabin we could be calling home for the next five days.
The taxi driver gave us his number and said to give him a call if we needed anything. He also warned us against going out after dark as there were bears in the woods, along with several other unpleasant things.
As he drove off, the sun began to set on our first night in the forest and we watched in awe as the sky went from a brilliant fiery orange, to a deep mysterious blue and then, totally black. Well, maybe not totally black.
Once the light faded we were greeted by a few million tiny glowing dots spread across the heavens.
One of our small group found some wood left by the people who rented us the cabin and made a fire. We all sat around the hearth, cracked open a few drinks and talked about just how incredible it was to be in such an amazing place.
As the evening wore on, we slowly began to drift off to sleep, all curled up on two giant sofas. We were happy and comfortable, sure of the fact that nothing could ruin this trip.
The next morning, three of us woke up early and decided to go out for a little exploring. We left a note for the others and made our way out into the wilds.
None of us were stupid, we constantly made sure that our phones had signal and had our locations being tracked the whole time. We weren’t going to end up like a bunch of teenagers in a predictable horror movie.
It was a fun walk, despite being freezing. We had all underestimated just how many layers of clothing we should be wearing and it showed as all of our lips were slowly changing from healthy red to an unsettling blue.
The wise call was made to head back to base and we turned around, taking a slightly different route back but still keeping an eye on the maps to stick close to our original path.
We were about halfway back when I felt a sudden jolt in my right leg. It was not pain but more like really intense pressure. I tried to take a step forwards but my leg wouldn’t move, it was as if something had reached up from the ground and gotten a tight grip on me.
Again I tried to move and this time, there was pain. I felt something pull at the skin on my leg.
I finally looked down and saw the fierce row of shiny metal teeth that had sunk themselves into my shin.
The next thing I knew, I was waking up in a hospital bed with a doctor telling me that they hadn’t been able to save the leg.
Fortunately, all of my pals promised to tell everyone back home that I had fought off an actual bear, rather than just a bear trap.
And that, my friends, is why movies and TV shows are constantly warning us about cabins in the woods.
There you have it, my very own “Cabin in the Woods” tale.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “there is no way anyone actually believes such bizarre stories”.
However, if a guy who clearly has a missing leg was stood in front of you telling you how he lost it, even if the story was wildly bizarre, how confident would you be to call him out on it?
Don’t worry, I always tell people the truth afterwards.
Thank you for reading folks, stay safe and be excellent to each other.
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